Amanda provides a broad analysis of evidence and the rules regarding admission of evidence in regards to relevance, relying on Article IV of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Amanda further highlights Article VIII of the Federal Rules of Evidence for an elucidation of the rules regarding hearsay evidence presented in court.
In relation to the first fact pattern, where Edward’s attorney was questioning Quincy’s physician, the analysis is correct. Rule 803(4) provides that statements made for medical diagnosis or treatments are not hearsay statements. As the causal factors leading to the fall are directly relevant for the determination of liability in the case, and the rules provide an exception to the rule against hearsay in this instance, the objection should be overruled and the witness should be directed to answer the question.
Amanda also properly parses the second fact pattern and she provides an excellent analysis of the potential exceptions to the hearsay rule. In this fact pattern, Quincy’s housekeeper is on the stand testifying about a statement Quincy had made to her some two months after the events in question. The analysis rule 803(1) is correct because the time lapse was too great to make a present sense impression. Rule 803(2) also does not provide an exception to hearsay because an excited utterance should be more or less contemporaneous with the events in question. It is possible that the pain he was in would provide the appropriate stress to admit this excited utterance, but largely it seems unrelated. Finally 803(3) may or may not provide an exception to hearsay, because it did describe a then-existing mental, emotional, or physical condition. I agree that the testimony should be struck.
The final fact pattern is a little dicey. It’s true that the statement made by Barnett to his friend was not ‘on the record,’ however, he was on the stand and able to be cross examined and the person he supposedly made the statement to was identified. I believe this should be permissible.
I disagree with Barbara’s interpretation of the first fact pattern. It is not really a leading inquiry because this is a witness of the opposing party. Furthermore, it is entirely relevant as it goes to the heart of the proximate cause of the fall. Was Quincy dizzy and intrinsically at greater risk of falling that could not have been anticipated, or was he just a normal everyday person out and about doing his business. The question most definitely falls under FRE 803(4) and it makes no difference if Dr. Carter is the primary care physician. If he has treated him, he likely took a complete medical history and his medical judgment is still medical judgment. There is nothing within the rule that says the physician has to be a primary care physician and 803(4)(b) is particularly relevant in this case which states that the exception is for statements that are: “past or present symptoms or sensations; their inception; or their general cause.”
I also disagree with Barbara’s analysis of the 2nd fact pattern and the objection should be sustained. Resting on rule 803(3) provides the best chance for admissibility of the statement to the housekeeper at trial, but ultimately 803(3) is a rule of expediency and Quincy could be put on the stand and questioned and cross examined about this (http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rule_803).
However, I do agree that the objection in fact pattern 3 should be overruled. Essentially, the witness is there to be cross-examined and the other person is identified and be subpoenaed. The line of questioning should be allowed to proceed as it directly is related to the witness’s credibility.